Finding our Gifts in Pigeon Forge, TN


When I went to school last May, I was in a very economically depressed section of Eastern Kentucky.   This area of Kentucky sits in the midst of Appalachia and is perhaps the poorest section of our country.  

While I was there nothing was comfortable, so mid way through I decided that I needed a warm shower, a comfortable bed to sleep in, and something more than Walmart for dinner.   I decided to spend one weekend and become a tourist.   I left Kentucky and headed 3 hours south to what I was told was the Redneck Disney World:   Pigeon Forge, Tennessee or Home of Dollywood.   It certainly lived up to its expectations.

Late on Friday, I found my way to a Hilton, and fell asleep in that warm bed.  The next morning I awoke and decided I was going to explore the hundreds of tourist shops that catered to all those who made their trek to this happiest place on earth.  

Walking down the street, it was people watching at its finest…and between visiting the dozens of Nascar or WWF themed shops, I decided to claim a park bench, a slurpee, and just watch.    It was there that I watch a man named Jesse and the incredibly odd talent he possessed.

Here is a video of that rather unique talent (as a matter of fact, it COULD be the same man?!):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHocVHZLjyk&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PL034D403912CD6080

At the end of his performance, I was surprised at what happened…

He told all the people that watched:

“That he was actually a believer in Jesus, and not only does he come down there each and every Saturday to raise money for the youth of his church, by playing the nose flute…  He will be more than happy to spend some time talking to folks who may be interested in learning more the youth group or about this Jesus character.”

Obviously I had to give something, so I left a ten dollar bill in the man’s hat, and smiled all the way down the street.

Here’s the best part of that encounter:

On my way back, I saw him sitting on a short wall next to a man I was just standing next to as he played, and as I passed him, I heard;  “That’s the Jesus I believe…”

He was talking about Jesus.  I kept walking, and I kept smiling.    If God could use the silliest of Gifts (such as playing the flute with one’s nose), then surely, without a doubt I had Gifts that I can use too.

We all do.  Sometimes they might be hard to see, but if we are willing to think about them, talk with others, and to ask for help along the way, we will see them eventually.   That is part of God’s promise.  I pray that each of us find the soul who’s called to help us see our own unique ones.

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